The United States believes Iran is serious about negotiations to reach a nuclear deal, US President Joe Biden said Friday.
Meanwhile, the White House said there had been “some progress made” over the last several weeks of indirect talks being held in Vienna.
US and Iranian officials have been talking through European, Chinese and Russian mediators for the last month as Tehran continues to refuse to engage in direct conversations with Washington.
But the Iranians - as has been a consistent maneuver - continue to alternate between maximalist demands and apparent compromising tones.
Asked if there was frustration with the lack of progress, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration always knew it would be a long and challenging process.
“But we also feel that it has been a good sign that there have been diplomatic engagements over the past several weeks … some progress has been made,” she told Al Arabiya during a press briefing at the White House.
“And we have a better idea of what we need to do moving forward … and Iran has a better idea of what it needs to do to come back into compliance” with the JCPOA, an acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 because it failed, among other things, to address Iran’s malign behavior in the region and its ballistic missile program.
“Returning to the deal as you know would require Iran to significantly roll back its nuclear program and block every available pathway to a nuclear weapon, but the talks are continuing. That is a good sign,” Psaki said.